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Texas Overtime Pay Regulations

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The state of Texas, like many others, follows the federal regulations regarding overtime pay. Texas overtime pay provisions require that any employee who works more than forty hours per work week should be paid one and one half times the regular rate of pay for every hour over the forty hour mark.

It is very important that an employer know what time his or her employee should be paid for. Not paying an employee for time they spent doing work could mean docking their pay, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Texas overtime pay provisions clearly state that all time spent by an employee performing activities which are job-related is potentially “work time.” This includes the employee’s regular “on the clock” work time, plus “off the clock” time spent performing job-related activities (which benefit the employer). Potential work is actual work if the employer “suffered or permitted” the employee to do it. An employer suffers or permits work if it knows the employee is doing the work (or could have found out by looking), and lets the employee do it.

The Texas overtime pay rules also state that, with only a few exceptions, all time an employee is required to be at the premises of the employer is work time. All regular shift time is work time. This includes “breaks” (if there are breaks), and “nonproductive” time (for example, time spent by a receptionist reading a novel while waiting for the phone to ring). In addition, all time spent by an employee performing work-related activities that the employer suffers or permits is work time, whether on premises or not and whether “required” or not. Work done “at home” or at a place other than the normal work site is work, and the time must be counted. “Voluntary” work is work, and the time must be counted.

Often times, employers will try to compensate their employees for overtime by giving them hours off. For instance, if an employee worked five hours over the forty hour full time mark, his or her boss may allow her to come into work five hours later or leave work five hours earlier at some point in the future rather than paying him/her the time and a half they are due. Under the Texas overtime pay provision this is illegal.

The only people who are not covered under the Texas overtime pay provision are those who are classified as exempt. Because the state of Texas has not set any provisions regarding overtime or overtime pay on its own, the state follows the exemptions set in place by the federal government. The categories of exempt employees include: executive employees, administrative employees, professional employees, computer employees and outside sales employees. The rules regarding exemptions for the Texas overtime pay provision are more involved than just labeling employees. Exempt employees must meet the extensive criteria for each category for exempt employees.

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